Creative Characters – Tearlach the Transmuter/Barbarian


Welcome to Creative Characters. This is where I indulge myself a bit and create an unusual character, based on a concept, idea, theme, feat or whatever else catches my fancy. These characters are NOT supposed to be optimized, but they ARE supposed to be INTERESTING. For the sake of reference, and consistency, all characters here are created with the Elite stat array (15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8) and all hit points are rolled as averages (and rounded down). They are also written so that they can be used as either NPCs or PCs as the reader chooses, and are written with all special abilities typed out, so as to ensure a minimum amount of book-flipping throughout your game.

This is a recurring series, and you should be seeing installments of it each week. Should you wish to see a particular build or idea featured here, then please don’t hesitate to comment.

So for the first installment, I’m going to tackle a character that most consider one of the most (if not, THE most) unoptimized character around…

The barbarian/wizard combination.

Tearlach McDhún  CR 5

XP 1,600
Male human barbarian 1/wizard 5 (transmuter)
CG Medium humanoid (human)
Init +3; Senses Perception +3


AC 21, touch 11, flat-footed 17 (+4 armor, +1 deflection, +3 Dex, +1 natural armor, -2 rage, +4 shield, -1 size)
hp 66 (1d12 (12 from barbarian)+5d6+12+1 (favored class barbarian) +24 rage)
Fort +8, Ref +5, Will +7


Speed 70 ft.
Melee greataxe +11 (3d6+11, 19-20/x3)
Ranged throwing axe +4 (1d6+8/x3)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Wizard Spells Prepared (concentration +6)

3rdkeen edge
2ndbear’s endurance, bull’s strength
1stenlarge person, expeditious retreat, mage armor, shield
0acid splash, dancing lights, flare (DC 11), ray of frost

Prohibited Schools divination, illusion

Note: GM’s and players should feel free to add spells that Tearlach knows, as these only represent what he has available on a typical day.


Before combat Tearlach spends as much time as he can buffing himself with his spells, and then rages, giving himself the following profile (and increasing his size to Large.)


Str 27, Dex 14, Con 22, Int 12, Wis 8, Cha 10
Base Atk +3 CMB +12 ; CMD 24
Feats Extra Rage, Light Armor Proficiency, Martial Weapon Proficiency, Medium Armor Proficiency, Power Attack, Scribe Scroll, Shield Proficiency, Simple Weapon Proficiency, Spell Mastery (bull’s strength), Weapon Focus (greataxe)
Skills Acrobatics +7, Appraise +9, Climb +7, Craft (blacksmithing) +10, Intimidate +4, Knowledge (local) +9, Perception +3, Survival +3, Spellcraft +9
Languages Common, Draconic, Elven
SQ arcane bond (greataxe)
Combat Gear +1 greataxe, 3 throwing axes, belt of teeth, amulet of natural armor +1, cloak of resistance +2, potion of cure light wounds (x4), ring of protection +1; Other Gear backpack, bedroll, explorer’s outfit (x2), everburning torch, 100-ft. of silk rope, small tent, trail rations (7 days); 1,664 gp, 4 sp (these remaining coins can be spent at the GM or player’s discretion before the start of the game session).


When not raging, Tearlach’s statistics are AC 15, touch 14, flat-footed 11, hp 42; Fort +6, Ref +5, Will +5; CMB +6; CMD 19; Melee greataxe +7 (1d12+4/x3), Ranged throwing axe +6 (1d6+3/3); Str 17, Dex 16, Con 14, Int 12, Wis 8, Cha 10.


Arcane Bond (Ex or Sp)

Tearlach has formed an arcane bond with his greataxe.


Tearlach can prepare a number of cantrips, or 0-level spells, each day, as noted under spells. These spells are cast like any other spell, but they are not expended when cast and may be used again.

Fast Movement

Tearlach’s land speed is faster than the norm for humans by +10 feet. This benefit applies only when he is wearing no armor, light armor, or medium armor, and not carrying a heavy load. This bonus stacks with any other bonuses to Tearlach’s land speed.

Rage (Ex)

Tealach can call upon inner reserves of strength and ferocity, granting him additional combat prowess. Tearlach can rage for 12 rounds per day. Tearlach can enter rage as a free action. The total number of rounds of rage per day is renewed after resting for 8 hours, although these hours do not need to be consecutive.

While raging, Tearlach gains a +4 morale bonus to  Strength and Constitution, as well as a +2 morale bonus on Will saves. In addition, he takes a –2 penalty to armor class. The increase to Constitution grants Tearlach 2 hit points per level, but these disappear when the rage ends and are not lost first like temporary hit points. While raging, Tearlach cannot use any Charisma-, Dexterity-, or Intelligence-based skills (except Acrobatics, Fly, Intimidate, and Ride) or any ability that requires patience or concentration.

Tearlach can end his rage as a free action and becomes fatigued for a number of rounds equal to 2 times the number of rounds spent in the rage. He cannot enter a new rage while fatigued or exhausted but can otherwise enter rage multiple times during a single encounter or combat. If Tearlach falls unconscious, his rage immediately ends.

Physical Enhancement (Su)

Tearlach gains a +2 enhancement bonus to Dexterity.

Telekinetic Fist (Sp)

Four times per day, as a standard action, Tearlach can strike with a telekinetic fist, targeting any foe within 30 feet as a ranged touch attack for 1d4+2 points of bludgeoning damage.


Tearlach was originally apprenticed to a local blacksmith and well-known for his rather irate temper, though he was generally considered to be good-natured. However, when a nearby wizard discovered that the boy was smart, he was moved to the wizard’s locale and apprenticed to him instead. Tearlach turned out to be a difficult pupil at best, often throwing tantrums whenever the spells didn’t go his way.

One day, of course, this came back to haunt him, and he accidentally injured another apprentice during one of his temper-tantrums. Fearing that he’d killed the apprentice, he grabbed what he could, and ran for the hills.

Now Tearlach spends his time wandering, and working as a sellsword, having found that giving in to his rage seems to increase his already good physical prowess, but at the cost of control and the lack of his spells. As such he now focuses on toughening himself up as much as possible before entering combat, and then abandoning all pretense of spell-casting once his weapon is drawn.

We hope you’ve enjoyed the look at Tearlach, the barbarian/transmuter, and that you’ll join us again next week for another installment. In the meantime, feel free to let us know what you think in the comments, or if you have any requests for character concepts and ideas that you’d like to see.

About Kim Frandsen

Kim is a freelance writer for various companies (including Publishing, Fat Goblin Games, Flaming Crab Games, Outland Entertainment, Purple Duck Games, Rusted Iron Games and Zenith Games) as well as an editor of the Pathfinder and D&D 5th Edition product lines for Publishing. Hopes to one day rule the world!

View all posts by Kim Frandsen →

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